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Start Here – Before you read or listen to this article, think about the worldview that informs who you are and how you react to life. Do you see the connection between your presupposition and the way you think about and respond to life? Who have been the primary shaping influences in your life from which you have this worldview? How has your historic presupposition led you thus far? What is the result, up to this point, of your life?
The cultural battleground centers on who has the authority to teach their version of the truth to our youth. Historically, Christians have held firm that there is authoritative and absolute truth found in the Bible. The counter-argument is that Christians believe in fairy tales, and have wrongly interpreted and misapplied the Scriptures. They have always had an opposing argument to the truth claims of the Bible.
During the early hours of Genesis, that alternate view emerged, as you see in Genesis 3:6. From that point, society has never believed in one source of truth or one argument for who has authority over our lives, which is why there is a war over truth claims.
Everyone knows that the predominantly accepted truth will influence and hold sway over people’s lives. Thus, educational gatekeepers are the ones who shape and steer a generation. It’s the person who can build our infrastructural presuppositional filters through which we see and interpret life that will control us and the culture.
We become who we are because of those who have gone before us. They tell us what to think. Nobody comes into the world understanding anything. Everyone has to learn from those who know more, which are the authorities in our homes and schools. Whether it’s the complexities of math or how to drink from a sippy cup, children are dependent on their authorities.
None of those authorities operate from a position of objective truth because there are no neutral facts. Each person uses an interpretive filter (presupposition) to understand everything. Because there is no unbiased information, all data runs through that unique filter. The things you learn from others are their interpretation of the facts.
You build your life on the “recycled truth” of others. They got their “truth” from someone who got their “truth” from someone who got their “truth” from someone, ad infinitum. These governing authorities start influencing you at birth, where you begin building your unique interpretative filter. By the time you’re ten years old, your filter will be set and only tweaked from that point.
Though your worldview evolves as you grow older, the cement setting effect from those early years will linger, all of your life. Historically, the primary shaping influence in our culture was a biblical worldview of marriage and family. But the “early temptation” in the garden continued to crouch at the door of society, looking for ways to pounce and subvert the commonly accepted Christian perspective. These aberrant movements want to disconnect humanity from our historical, Christo-centric anchor point by introducing another view that taps into our most selfish desires.
See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes (Ecclesiastes 7:29).
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12).
For there is no one who does not sin (2 Chronicles 6:36).
These false forces tell you what to believe, how to think, and what’s best for you, based on their interpretation of right and wrong. They penetrate marriages and families and storm the educational institutions with one aim, to destroy historical Christian beliefs that have provided the presupposition and roadmap to living well in our world.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In the past, we had a way of interpreting our thoughts. If they were evil, according to the Bible, we could process them through Scripture and gain victory over them. The Bible was the primary means that gave us our interpretations, and from that point of departure, we had our marching orders, which led to peace, unity, and fulfillment.
Because we are entirely depraved, incapable of solving the riddles of our lives, and in desperate need of divine intervention, God gave us His Word. Today, the dominating teaching counters this perspective by saying we are inherently good, our desires are proper, and we must find the path to satisfy whatever it is that we feel inside of us.
Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
Both perspectives are “correct” in that they say something is wrong with us, and we must figure out what that is so we can feel better about ourselves. Society starts with the “we are good people with good desires, and we need to learn how to fulfill them” perspective. The Bible teaches that we are woefully broken and irreparably damaged without the imposing power of Christ regenerating us.
The goal of Christianity is not to give us a path to satisfy all our desires but to lead us to Christ so we can evolve into the best image of ourselves, which is Christlikeness. That process is to be born a second time and then entering into an indoctrination program called progressive sanctification.
The path you choose is a faith issue. Society teaches their doctrines by faith, and so do Christians (2 Corinthians 5:7). Every person lives by faith, though the objects of our faith can be wildly different (Romans 1:17). The object of the Christian faith is Jehovah LORD. Our marching orders come from the Bible (John 17:17). The object of our society’s faith is the self-actualized human that releases each person to be whatever their hearts desire.
The Christian’s faith brings believers to a communal point where we all are collected into one diverse group, worshiping Christ through eternity. We enjoy an echo of this worldview today because of the “already, but not yet” lives that we live. We are “already” enjoying this diverse, communal privilege, but the full reality of it is “not yet” happening but awaits in heaven.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10)!
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).
Society’s faith does not lead to a diverse, communal endpoint. Their faith fractures individuals, communities, and countries into an “each to his own” mindset. The fracturing reaches all aspects of society and divides groups, races (ethnicities), sexes, religions, and generations. Every person is right in their eyes, which inevitably ends with escalating dysfunction, determined individualism, and acrimonious competitiveness. Brothers attack brothers. Children attack parents. Neighbors attack neighbors and the survival of the fittest survives.
Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake (Matthew 10:21-22).
The critical tension in this human tug-o-war is about who has authority over your life, which begins immediately upon your arrival. And the epicenter of the battle is over naming rights: who should identify, label, and propose solutions for what is wrong with us.
Read Mark Grant’s Work on Identity Crisis:
An example of our shared brokenness and the competing voices who want to tell us what is wrong with us and what we need to do about it is our current sexual confusion. Before the last couple of decades, there was a universal assumption that answered the sexual confusion question: you were either male or female, according to God’s Word.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).
It was the parents who primarily shared this knowledge with their children. The last couple of decades has seen the rise of a counter authority that says you cannot know for sure if you’re a boy or girl. We have another option that says, in essence, “We don’t know—regardless of what your visible anatomy indicates.”
The way they came to this conclusion was by talking to people who were struggling with their depravity, e.g., same-sex attraction, opposite gender preferences, desires that do not meet the collective expectations of their gender. Rather than helping the confused work through these dominating thoughts, the culture went back to the beginning and said that even though you have a penis, it’s “obvious” you’re not a boy (or a typical boy).
They started with the problem-struggling adult, and trekked back to their birth, dismantled the historical, objective evidence of what biology has always meant, and stated that you could not know for sure. The child must become an adult before deciding. What they’re saying is, “We’re going to let your unleashed depravity grow and mature into whatever you want to become, and at that point, you can determine who you are and what you want to be.”
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:14-15).
The Bible tells another story, which is the degradation of humanity, and our best course of action is to attack this problem at its root, at birth. Christians do not believe you should permit a deadly dragon to grow into mature adulthood without biblio-centric intervention and shaping. We admit and own our depravity and perceive the vital need to shape it into another type of person, a perfect person, named Christ.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28)
For those wondering why there is so much sexual confusion in our culture, you need to look no further than the dominant authority in the culture, which will always be counter to the Bible. If you see splintering and confusing people around identity and sexually-related matters, you can know that there is a breakdown in their knowledge and application of the Bible.
Ironically, America has never been so free and economically vibrant. We are the envy of the world in those two ways. But our suicide rates are up, life expectancy is declining, depression is at an all-time high, homelessness is rampant, and young people are more confused than at any point in our history. The one thing that coincides with these startling trends is the overt and hostile shift from a biblically-literate culture to an illiterate one.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (Proverbs 14:12).
If you’re confused and struggling with who you are and how you are to fit into this world, I urge you to think about what I’ve said here. There is a way out of your confusion. And though it’s counter-cultural, the Bible is your path to freedom (Galatians 5:1). You need objective truth, as laid out in the Bible. You do not need new truth; you need old truth.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25).
If you continue to embrace the indoctrinating ideas and practices of the culture, you’ll continue to escalate your confusion and dysfunction. The evidence of what I’m saying is not subjective; you see it every day. Lives are spiraling into darker chaos, and you will always find a counter-biblical worldview that they hold onto.
The first question for all of us is, “Where do we begin?” There are two answers that are sequential. The first part is that you must start with yourself: do you believe the Bible is God’s truth for you and that it provides you with the answers you need to live well on earth? The next question is about you influencing others, so you’re making a dent in the chaos.
What do you believe about the Bible, and how are you impacting others with your biblio-centric worldview? Parents are in the most critical position. If you have a child, you must be giving them a biblical presuppositional filter, which will enable them to think well about themselves, life, and others.
If you have questions about this article or need help with implementing a biblio-centric worldview into your life, please ask on our free community forums. Also, be sure that you study, share, and discuss the embedded articles in this piece.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).